Front and south
I always confuse myself when talking about our front door. We've been using the door on the north side of the house for all of our access but technically it's the back door. The door on the south side is the real front door but we've not been using it because the deck is not built there. It's also lacking a final coat of render. So as it's the main part of the house that you see as you come up the beautiful new driveway, we wanted to get on to it and provide ourselves with a proper front door arrangement.
So here's the relationship between the deck and the render: the rendering is hard to do at that height until the deck joists are on, plus the render needs to go both above the joists to the eaves and below the joists to the bottom of the bearers. We couldn't just use a trestle because the decking bearers are in the way!
OK, so enough double talk. The obvious course of action is to do the joists and use them as a platform to render on so last week I got on to the joists. I've been itching to do this for a long time so it was very satisfying to get into it. I got most of the joists on, enough to be able to put down plenty of boards to stand on. Once that was done we could actually walk out of the front door to the view that we'll get on the south deck. Another aspect of the house is revealed to us. Brilliant! So with that done we could get into the rendering, nice and safe, not up a ladder! OK maybe just a step ladder.
Our good friend Mel the prodigious renderer came on Saturday as did first timer Leon, who we've never met before but after a day of mud, trowels and chatter we feel like we've known him a good while. Leon is another strawbale enthusiast with plans of his own so got a tour and lots of background, since he missed seeing our house on Sustainable House Day. Progress was great. To get to all of the rendering Mel and Leon had to get down between joists and up on tippy toes. The bulk of the wall is now rendered, for the remainder trestles will still be required, that's a job for next weekend. First I need to attend to a few more windows before all the rendering can be done. But it's exciting to think that we're so close to having all of the exterior done.